Leave a comment if you think of a good title for this. Or what image it evokes.
I composed this using Finale and Eastwest and recorded it with Camtasia. I was playing around with unusual time signatures (especially 13/8), key changes, and rapid stylistic shifts, so no wonder it sounds so schizophrenic!
According to some basic, undeniable laws of nature, when two powerful forces collide, something explosive will occur, and a dramatic transformation is likely to take place as a result. It’s a law that applies to every dynamic in the known universe, including jazz.
It stands to reason, then, that when a formidable jazz quartet like the Yellowjackets convenes in the studio with a high-energy guitar virtuoso like Mike Stern, the resulting reaction will be a singular event – one that’s likely to create something entirely new on the jazz landscape.
This phenomenon is captured on Lifecycle (HUCD 3141), the new collaborative recording by the Jackets and Stern set for worldwide release on Heads Up International a division of Concord Music Group on May 20, 2008. The first Yellowjackets recording in 15 years to feature a guitar player, Lifecycle illustrates the kind of energy and creative brilliance that results when five talented players pool their individual talents as songwriters and musicians and merge into an entity that’s far greater than the sum of its parts.
Following the release of Brother to the Blues in the spring of 2006, the Blues Foundation convened in Memphis on May 10, 2007, for their annual Blues Music Awards ceremony and honored guitarist Tab Benoit with the dual awards of B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and Best Contemporary Male Performer of 2006.
For anyone who saw Benoit play a two-night stand in Nashville at The Place On Second Street just prior to the 2007 Blues Music Awards ceremony, the reasons for the accolades were crystal clear. Backed by Louisiana’s LeRoux and a handful of high-profile guest performers representing a range of roots music styles, Benoit reaffirmed his reputation as a force to be reckoned with on the blues landscape in ways that no trophy ever could.
For the millions of fans unable to witness this electrifying performance first-hand, Night Train To Nashville, Benoit’s sixth solo release on Telarc, is the next best thing. The 11-track live recording, set for April 22, 2008, captures the magic and intensity of Benoit in a live setting, joined by his faithful backup unit and New Orleans mainstay, Louisiana’s LeRoux, and a series of guests representing some of the most talented voices on the current blues, Cajun and country scenes: harpist/vocalist Jimmy Hall (Wet Willie), guitarist/vocalist Jim Lauderdale, harpist/accordionist Johnny Sansone, fiddler/washboard player Waylon Thibodeaux and harpist/vocalist and Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson.